Switch headers Switch to TIGweb.org

Are you an TIG Member?
Click here to switch to TIGweb.org

HomeHomeExpress YourselfPanoramaOpen sex communication/education and HIV/AIDS prevention among Nigerian adolescents and youth
a TakingITGlobal online publication

(Advanced Search)

Panorama Home
Issue Archive
Current Issue
Next Issue
Featured Writer
TIG Magazine
Short Story
My Content
Open sex communication/education and HIV/AIDS prevention among Nigerian adolescents and youth Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by KINGSLEY, Nigeria Mar 18, 2005
Health , HIV/AIDS   Opinions
 1   Next page »


Nigeria is facing a devastating HIV/AIDS epidemic. Most new infections occur between the ages of 14-25 years. At the current rate of infection, half of the Nigerian population, currently 15 years or younger, could die of HIV/AIDS. Reducing the rate of HIV infection among young people would lead to a substantial slowing of the epidemic over the next 10 years. Conversely, failure to curtail the rate of infection in this age group could sustain an epidemic of catastrophic proportion for decades.

Prevention of HIV/AIDS is fundamentally dependant on sexual behaviour. There is substantial experience internationally that this is the best opportunity to impact positively on adolescents. Sexual behaviour is prior to the onset of sexual activity. The key to success, international experience shows is an open communication about sex and early sex education. In Uganda and Senegal, open communication about sex has been at the heart of those countries largely effective HIV/AIDS prevention efforts.

The average age of onset of sexual activity among Nigerian teenagers is 14 years, thus sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea and syphilis are common place among sexually active teenagers. And despite substantial public education efforts over the past years, the use of condoms among young people remains below expectation. To positively influence adolescent sexual behaviour, there is need to advocate for a new lifestyle for young people based on informed choice, shared responsibility and positive sexuality. A strategy to get all Nigerians particularly 12-19 years old to talk about sex more openly must involve a combination of high powered media with nation wide adolescent sexual health services and outreach programmes.

The conclusion are clear; open communication about sex and early sex education is essential to delaying the onset of sexual activity, reducing teenage pregnancy, increasing the use of condoms and reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS and other STDs. It is equally essential to back up open communication and sex education with adolescent friendly sexual health services, outreach and support programmes.

Despite considerate efforts at public education about the risks of HIV/AIDS, high-risk sexual behaviour remains the norm. However, there is a weak relationship between perceived risk of infection and actual infection. Though a less percentage of those who thought that they were at low risk were already infected with HIV. The greatest barriers to achieving HIV prevention are; fear, denial and ignorance. HIV prevention efforts have been plagued, above all by silence, resulting from the stigma associated with the disease.

Traditionally behaviour change models focused on individual behaviour and were based on the assumption of a direct correlation between knowledge and action. The theory is that preventative behaviour is the result of rational decision making informed by the seriousness of the threat, perceptions of the effectiveness of risk reducing measures (such as condoms, the value individuals put a good health, as well as the self confidence and communication skills of the individual. The problem with this model is that is assumes a logical pattern of decision-making and a degree of personal control that is unrealistic in the complex web of sexual relations. There is growing recognition that individual risk reduction and behaviour change require changes in the attitude, values and norms of society generally.

Forced sex is also a reality for many young people. For young women in Nigeria coercion or enticement is pervasive while for young men, the hiatus in employment, lack of education, recreation and other opportunities, create an environment where recreational sex is a major preoccupation. It is also necessary to investigate the sexual ideologies of adolescents. Young men say they are often consumed by impulses beyond their control and young women often buy into this notion by acquiescing to sexual advances.

Cultural scripts that capture the imagination such as “skin to skin” (unprotected sex) can strongly influence sexual decision making. However, achieving sexual behavioral change is a complex task requiring integrated approaches implemented at all levels of society and sustained over a considerate number of years. Prevention initiatives need to succeed in creating a social consciousness and environment that facilitate appropriate personal action.

Although projections for the HIV epidemic in Nigerian are bleak, it is still possible through converted prevention efforts to curtail the scale of the epidemic and to turn the tide over the next few years. The primary reasons for hope are that HIV/AIDS is eminently preventable and that approximately 20 percent of the Nigerian population is less than 14 years of age. Prevention initiatives, especially if packaged as part of life skills can contribute to creating hope for the future and building respectful relationships among young people. Your guess is as good as mine.

 1   Next page »   


You must be logged in to add tags.

Writer Profile

There is an awful lot of things to be done and different ways to do them...but how can all these be done without logical thought...That's PLANNING.

Kingsley Onyekwere Essomeonu, in his opinion sees planning as a MUST to success.

Kingsley had experience in journalism, having studied mass comunication. A PGD in Journalism from the International Institute of journalism, IIJ, and currently studying for his Masters in Community Development and Social Welfare. He had editorial experience at Imo Broadcasting Corporation, Owerri (1998-99) during his internship. He was the campus and departmental editor of FORUM newspaper during his undergraduate days, and was the editor of KADCORPS Magazine during his National Youths service (NYSC) in Kaduna State.

A UNICEF-trained expert on reproductive health & HIV/AIDS prevention. A UNDP/UNEAD-trained expert in Conflict Resolution & Management. He is the co-ordinator of Society for Adolecents & Youth Health International and SAYHI Nigeria.

His ongoing project is YOUNGIES which focuses on young people aged 15-29 in and out of school in the southeastern states of Nigeria.

He needs the submissions of TIG members to this piece.

E –mail okinx2000@yahoo.com
Phone - 234-(0) 803-669-5163


Doris Carter | Sep 15th, 2018
Healing from HIV-AIDS, i never though dr.camala who could ever get my HIV-AIDS cured with his healing spell, i have tried almost everything but i couldn't find any solution on my disease, despite all these happening to me, i always spend alot to buy a HIV drugs from hospital and taking some several medications but no relieve, until one day i was just browsing on the internet when i come across a great post of !Michelle! who truly said that she was been diagnose with HIV and was healed that very week through the help of these great powerful healing spell doctor, sometime i really wonder why people called him Papa camala, i never knew it was all because of the great and perfect work that he has been doing that is causing all this. so i quickly contacted him, and he ask me some few questions and he said a thing i will never forget that anyone who contacted him is ! always getting his or her healing in just 6 hours after doing all he ask you, so i was amazed all the time i heard that from him, so i did all things only to see that at the very day which he said i will be healed, all the strength that has left me before rush back and i becomes very strong and healthy, this disease almost kills my life all because of me, so i will to hospital to give the final test to the disease and the doctor said i am HIV negative, i am very amazed and happy about the healing dr.camala gave to me from the ancient part of Africa, you can email him now for your own healing too at: dr.camalahivadscure@yahoo.com or WhatsApp him +2349055637784 thank you sir for healing me from HIV, i am Doris Carter.

You must be a TakingITGlobal member to post a comment. Sign up for free or login.